At the age of eight, Ben realized she wasn’t a boy who liked pink but indeed, a girl.
Ever since the age of two, then-Ben was naturally attracted to typically feminine things. This dissent intensified as he grew older.
Mother, Jamie Bruesehoff, and daughter, Rebekah, from New Jersey started spreading awareness of transgender rights ever since her transition. They have been campaigning, attending marches and speaking up at rallies in support of transgender people.
She wants to make a difference by speaking out and spreading awareness about transgender rights.
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Her mother writes a blog called ‘I am that mom’ which has recently helped their journey gain popularity.
In February, Jamie posted a picture of Rebekah holding a sign with the slogan: ‘I’m the scary transgender person the media warned you about,’ which went viral overnight.
Jamie was bombarded with comments and messages praising her daughter’s bravery.
She said: “The picture went pretty crazy viral. It started out with some really wonderful comments and lots of affirmation, but if I keep scrolling a comment says “this whole transgender issue is a mental illness but because it’s ‘cool’ you have parents forcing their kids into it.”
They haven’t heard anything similar from their relatives but the social media seems to have no limits. It went as far as saying that they should not be allowed to keep Rebekah in their custody.
Which Jamie cleared out, saying that: “Luckily, every medical professional we’ve seen says otherwise, so we feel confident that we have the best resources we can and we are supporting her the best way that we can.”
Rebekah’s parents have always been supportive and agree that she has always been gender non-conforming.
Jamie explained: “By the time she was seven, all of this hit a crisis point – her anxiety was crippling and her depression was becoming life threatening.”
“We were faced with a 7-year-old kid who wanted to die.”
“One time she punched out the screen of her second story window and tried to jump out.”
Rebekah felt completely uneasy in her own skin before the transition period and was not sure what was wrong with her. With the help of their family doctor and counselor, they were able to help their eldest son in this state of confusion.
Rebekah said: “The hardest part of all this was when I wasn’t transitioned and I was not happy and it didn’t feel right.”
“Before I became a girl, I felt unhappy.”
Once she was helped out of the miserable phase by her parents, she knew she was a girl at heart and in soul. After she had overcome her misconceptions, she was able to transition socially and even legally changed her name from Ben to Rebekah in 2016.
She also has a ‘Ben Box’ where she keeps all of the Ben memories. To her, Ben is just a part of her past and she doesn’t intend to ignore any part of it. Though, she is finally happy that she gets to be who she really is.
The word ‘transgender’ was introduced to her while she and her mother were surfing the internet, looking for gender non-conforming swimsuits. Jamie saw this as the best opportunity to tell her what it meant which turned out to be an ‘’aha moment”.
The Bruesehoffs are happy about the transition and the differences it has made in their child.
They said: “We saw the difference in her. She was just a different kid. It was like a cloud had lifted. She was just more of herself. She was vibrant and she was excited and happy and her personality kind of just exploded all over the place.”
Although, they do seem relieved about the transition but they cannot help themselves fearing about Rebekah’s future as a trans woman. They have already started researching on the medical side of this.
Jamie said: “We honestly fear for her safety. I know, there is a lot of violence and discrimination against trans people.”
Her dad Christopher said: “I’m always worried about reactions with Rebekah, both in the community, the church and the world. I’m very worried about how the world is going to treat her because I see a lot of ugliness in the world.”
Rebekah doesn’t enjoy thinking about it. She doesn’t want to grow into a man, for which she will be getting puberty blockers.